Freiherr von Detlev Liliencron

Freiherr von Detlev Liliencron

Liliencron, Detlev, Freiherr von, 1844-1909, German lyric poet, b. Schleswig-Holstein. First a Prussian army officer and later a minor government official, he retired in 1885 to devote himself to writing. Liliencron was one of the first German lyric poets to break with the romantic tradition. His verse, varied, colorful, and humorous, is impressionistic rather than naturalistic. Brahms and Richard Strauss set some of it to music. Among his work is Adjutantenritte (1883), which reflects his love of the martial life and the mock epic Poggfred (1896; final version, 1906).
Ludwig Samson Arthur Freiherr von und zu der Tann-Rathsamhausen (June 18, 1815 - April 26, 1881) was a Bavarian general.

Early life

Born at Darmstadt, on the day of Waterloo, Ludwig von der Tann was descended from the old family of von der Tann, which had branches in Bavaria, the Alsace and the Rhine provinces, and attached his mother's name (she being the daughter of an Alsatian nobleman, Freiherr von Rathsamhausen) to his father's in 1868 by licence of the king of Bavaria. Ludwig I., the second king of Bavaria, stood sponsor for the child, who received his name and in addition that of Arthur, in honour of the Duke of Wellington. He received a careful education, and in 1827 became a page at the Bavarian court, where a great future was predicted for him. Entering the artillery in 1833, he was after some years placed on the general staff. He attended the manoeuvres of the Austrian army in Italy under Radetzky and, in a spirit of adventure, joined a French military expedition operating in Algiers against the Tunisian frontier.

First War of Schleswig

On his return he became a close personal friend of the Bavarian Crown Prince Maximilian Joseph (afterwards King Maximilian). In 1848 he was promoted to major, and in that year he distinguished himself greatly as the leader of a Schleswig-Holstein light corps in the First War of Schleswig between Denmark and a coalition of German states. At the close of the first campaign he was awarded the Order of the Red Eagle by the king of Prussia, and his own sovereign awarded him the Military Order of Max Joseph and promoted him to lieutenant-colonel. In 1849 he served as chief of staff to the Bavarian contingent at the front and distinguished himself at the lines of Dybbøl. He then visited Haynau's headquarters in the Hungarian War before returning to Schleswig-Holstein to serve as von Willisen's chief of staff in the Idstedt campaign.

Austro-Prussian War

Then came the threat of war between Prussia and Austria, and von der Tann was recalled to Bavaria. The crisis ended with the "surrender of Olmütz," and he saw no further active service until 1866, rising in the usual way of promotion to colonel (1851), major-general (1855), and lieutenant-general (1861). In the earlier years of this period he was the aide-de-camp and constant companion of the king. In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 he was chief of the staff to Prince Karl Theodor of Bavaria, who commanded the South German contingents. The almost entirely unfavorable outcome of the military operations led to vehement attacks on him in the press, but the unreadiness and ineffectiveness of the troops and the general lack of interest in the war on the part of the soldiers foredoomed the South Germans to failure in any case.

Franco-German War

He continued to enjoy the favour of the king and was promoted to the rank of general of the infantry (1869), but the bitterness of his disappointment of 1866 never left him. He was grey-haired at forty-two, and his health was impaired. In 1869 von der Tann-Rathsamhausen, as he was now called, was appointed commander of the I. Bavarian Corps. This corps he commanded during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, and it was in this war that he secured his reputation as one of the foremost of German soldiers. His gallantry was conspicuous at the battles of Worth and Sedan. Transferred in the autumn to an independent command on the Loire, he conducted the operations against d'Aurelle de Paladines, at first with marked success, and forced the surrender of Orleans. He had, however, at Coulmiers to give way before a numerically larger French force; but reinforced, he fought several successful engagements under the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin near Orleans.

After the end of the war he was reappointed commander-in-chief of the I. Bavarian Corps, a post which he held until his death in 1881 at Merano. He received the Grand Cross of the Bavarian Military Order, and from the King of Prussia the first class of the Iron Cross and the Pour le Mérite. In 1878 the German emperor named von der Tann honorary colonel of a Prussian infantry regiment, gave him a life pension, and named one of the new Strassburg forts after him.

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